Corruption Challenges – Lokpal, POCA, etc

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), 2021


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), 2021

Mains level : Corruption and money laundering


The 2021 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International places India 85th on a list of 180 countries, one position above last year.

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)

  • The CPI is an index which ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.”
  • The CPI generally defines corruption as an “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.
  • The index is published annually by the non-governmental organisation Transparency International since 1995.
  • The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
  • It uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank CPI, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

What kind of corruption does the CPI measure?

The data sources used to compile the CPI specifically cover the following manifestations of public sector corruption:

  • Bribery
  • Diversion of public funds
  • Officials using their public office for private gain without facing consequences
  • Ability of governments to contain corruption in the public sector
  • Excessive red tape in the public sector which may increase opportunities for corruption
  • Nepotistic appointments in the civil service
  • Laws ensuring that public officials must disclose their finances and potential conflicts of interest
  • Legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption
  • State capture by narrow vested interests
  • Access to information on public affairs/government activities

The CPI does NOT cover:

  • Citizens’ direct perceptions or experience of corruption
  • Tax fraud
  • Illicit financial flows
  • Enablers of corruption (lawyers, accountants, financial advisors etc)
  • Money-laundering
  • Private sector corruption
  • Informal economies and markets

Highlights of the 2021 Report

  • The top-performing countries were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand — all having a corruption perceptions score of 88 — followed by Norway, Singapore and Sweden, all of them scoring 85.
  • In contrast, the worst-performing countries were South Sudan with a corruption perceptions score of 11, followed by Syria (13), Somalia (13, Venezuela (14) and Afghanistan (16).

India’s performance

  • In 2021, India ranked 86th with the same CPI score of 40.
  • The report highlighted concerns over the risk to journalists and activists who have been victims of attacks by the police, political militants, criminal gangs and corrupt local officials.
  • Civil society organizations that speak up against the government have been targeted with security, defamation, sedition, hate speech and contempt-of-court charges, and with regulations on foreign funding.


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